Tag Archives: suicide

An Open Letter to Deniro

Dear Deniro, 

Well fuck, look at us now. From startling beginnings to tragic ends, our story was always one for the books. Remember when you hated me? That was a weird time for us both. Through unfortunate circumstances we were forced to become allies. You were pretty good at taking care of yourself but at the same time you needed a lot of help from me. I wasn’t ok with it at first as our friendship hadn’t started yet. Scott loved you so much and I was morally obliged to try and love you as much as he did. There were things I did to you that you hated, but they were necessary. I’m sorry you wouldn’t talk to me for a day after I helped wash you. I’m sorry you didn’t like when I had to give you your medication. I’m sorry I didn’t do a better job at making sure you were healthier and happier. 

We were at our best when we would walk around the parks, the sidewalks gleaming with late night dew. Near the end you were so protective of me. Our bond so unshakable that when Scott returned he was surprised at how well we became friends. You helped me learn to take care of something. You were the prelude to taking care of a larger problem. I still remember Scott screaming in pain those first few weeks. He’d scream, and moan, and beg and I would lay there covering my ears. I would hear you run from my bedroom to his aide instantaneously – the second he was in trouble you were his number one man.

 I knew Scott was in bad shape when I wouldn’t see you for days. You’d come down the stairs looking almost as emancipated as he did. When he started to get better we all started to get better. We healed together, you and me and him and our little townhouse in Chippendale. 

I left you alone with him. I’m so sorry I left you alone. I thought everything was getting better. I ignored the signs. They were there – just beneath the surface. I could’ve seen them. 

You’d be so happy when I came to visit. I remember my nickname for you was “The Perfect Boyfriend”, which is weird thing to say because, well, you are a dog. 

Thanks for protecting me and making me feel safe. I know you miss him as much as I do. I’m so sorry you had to be there to witness it – but you were always the strong one. 

Me? I’m in a much better place now. And I hope you are too – wherever in the world you are. You are all the love that Scott had to give manifested through another being. You carried around the best of him. 

I miss him as much as you do, 

Cody

The Truth: Part 34

In King’s Cross there lived a homeless woman. The first time I saw her was the first day I arrived in Sydney. She had long brown hair and wore a purple sweater with black sweat pants. She was begging on the street and I gave her a few coins. She was sitting on a heap of bundled blankets on the concrete, yelling obscenities at other homeless people walking by. The next time I saw her I bought her a burger. Her face looked leaner and her teeth were more yellow. She smiled and said thanks. I saw her around quite often, but she never seemed to remember who I was.

“She’s so disgusting,” Nick commented once when we both had seen her on the street, “I never give her money because she’s obviously using it for crystal meth.”

Overtime I would see her less and less, and when I would spot her the features on her face were more sunken and her teeth started going brown. I saw her once pulling uneaten sushi rolls out of the garbage and eating them.

She asked me once, “Oi, do you have any spare change?”

“No sorry, I don’t.”

“Fuck you, cunt.”

The last time I ever saw her I was waiting in line to buy coffee before a shift at Knight Call. I was tired and coming down off crystal meth. She came into the shop and started yelling, “Does anyone have any spare change? I need a coffee!” Most of her hair had fallen out and I think she had a tooth missing. Her voice wasn’t as soft as it was before. Nobody even turned to look at her. She started going up to every person and individually asking them, but they all shook their heads.

She finally came up to me and asked, “Can I have two dollars, mate? I really want a coffee.”

I replied, “I won’t give you two dollars, but if you wait with me in line I’ll buy you a coffee.”

“I hate the coffee here. I want two dollars to buy coffee somewhere else.” Her breath smelt like rotting flesh.

I snapped, “Well you’re homeless so you really can’t be that picky.”

“Fuck you, mate!” She stormed off.

After she left I grabbed one of my teeth and wiggled it. It was firmly in place.

At Knight Call I started seeing this old man with white hair. He made me laugh, and we would shoot the shit for the better part of the hour. He came in to see me twice in one week. On the second visit he asked me, “Do you like anyone here?”

“No not really,” I answered as I rolled over to the side to look at him.

“I don’t mean like, crush like. Is there anyone here you think is good looking?”

“Kind of, yeah.”

With a cheeky grin he asked, “Who is it? I would like to have a double with you and a guy you think is really hot.”

I had never done a double with another escort before. I debated just telling him that I didn’t want to, the prospect of it made me nervous. For another escort to see how I act in the room seemed like someone would be infringing on personal matters. I acted very different with my clients than I did in real life, so I wasn’t sure about having another person I worked with witness my client persona.

The white haired man continued, “… think of it as a gift from me to you, to be able to sleep with anyone you think is really hot.”

I was quiet for a few seconds, contemplating if I wanted to say the name of the boy I really would’ve liked to have sex with. I said with a grin, “As long as you don’t tell them that it was a gift. I don’t want them to know that I’m the one who set this up.”

“Thats fair enough. So whom shall it be?”

I couldn’t hide my smile, “Jake.”

“Oh, and who is he?”

“He’s this really muscular guy that I work with. He’s pretty cool, sometimes really annoying. He drives me home from work on the nights I work late once in awhile.”

“Sounds fun. I’ll set it up once we are finished here.”

It took Jake only one day to find out we had a booking with a client together. He announced it in front of the entire brothel.

“Cody and I are having a double in a week,” Jake said loudly to all the boys in the Boy’s Room. He had a cheeky grin and looked directly at me, “I’ll be your first double, correct?”

“Yeah, you will.” I couldn’t hide me smile.

“He booked it for next tuesday. Are you excited?” He asked, obviously happy he still had the attention of the room.

“Meh, I don’t really care.” I said nonchalantly. A couple of the boys laughed.

Jason, Bruce’s boyfriend, had started working that week. We all thought they were a cute couple. Everyone remained thoroughly entertained at their Irish accents, making them say words like ‘leprechaun’ and ‘thursday’ and laughing when they pronounced it ‘Tuuuuursday’. Jason seemed really nice, though. He seemed to care for other people and wasn’t like most of the other boys. He obviously liked to make people laugh, and he had a devilishly charming smile.

Immediately Jason got along well with all of the boys, and many fancied him as he was really good looking. He had a second job working in a gay underwear shop located near Oxford Street (the gay street.) I got along with him very well, and it didn’t take long before he became a good work mate of mine. We would spend time telling funny stories and smoking darts in the outdoor area, but outside of work we had never hung out.

The week went by as I was getting to know the Irish couple at work, and Jake texted me everyday saying:

Five more days till we have that double….

 

Four more days….

 

Three more! Are you nervous?

 

Two more days and we have that double.

 

Tomorrow is the day!

Then the day arrived. I was nervous. The client had booked it for early afternoon, but requested that I came into the room for the first fifteen minutes alone and then go down into the Boy’s Room to collect Jake when we were ready. I liked this plan as it gave me time to calm my nerves. I smoked a cigarette minutes before the white haired man was supposed to arrive. When he arrived and we met in the room I told him I was nervous and he said, “You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to.” He didn’t seem to understand that I was nervous because this was the only thing I wanted to do for the past three months. Sleeping with Jake was something I wanted for a long time.

After fifteen minutes I went down the stairs and collected Jake.

“You nervous?” He asked.

“Nah, this will be fun.” I said with as little emotion as possible.

Jake disappointingly blew his load within 5 minutes and then begged me not to tell the other boys; he was obviously embarrassed. We had kissed roughly, the client sitting naked on the chair watching us throw each other around a bit. Then when it came to the actual sex Jake didn’t last long at all.

“I just don’t want people knowing.” He said once again before we left the room.

“Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.” I promised, but it wasn’t even an hour after our session that I had told everyone about it. Payback was a bitch for when he let everyone know I had gonorrhea the week previous.

Nick was jealous that I had the double with Jake and acted snarky with me the rest of the afternoon. Nick had fancied Jake for a while, his crush being strengthened once when Jake and him cuddle on the Boy’s Room couch one afternoon (Photo evidence of this was provided to me by Matt, the Brothel stalker and good friend, as I was not there during the cuddlement). Nick had been wanting to be the first one to have a double with Jake, but I beat him to it.

“He blew within five minutes,” I laughed as I was telling Nick.

“That’s because he probably wanted to get the fuck out of there.” Nick said with satisfaction, which didn’t make sense to me because normal people blow early because they’re too riled up.

That night we decided to go on a big bender at my place. Nick’s intentions seemed to be that he needed drugs to alleviate the emotions he was showing towards the situation with Jake. Nick hated emotions. The rest of us just wanted a fun night on it. Scott would be sleeping, so it didn’t matter to us that he was there. He would’ve never found out that we were smoking crystal meth. Nick brought the poker set, and Brendan drove him and I to my place in little Chippendale. On the way we picked up four points of crystal from Brendan’s dealer, a man who would literally throw the meth off his third story balcony in an envelope and Branden would have to try and catch it as it was falling. Branden would then put the money in the dealer’s letter box. I guessed that the dealer was trying to be smart and not get caught dealing by the police, but I thought that having random people stand under your balcony trying to catch falling envelopes seemed way more peculiar than doing a deal in person.

“We are such meth addicts,” Branden said while driving from the dealers.

“I’m not,” said Nick, “I just do it every once in awhile.”

“Fuck off, we are all addicted.” Branden laughed.

“I don’t think I am. I’m not loosing my hair and my teeth aren’t brown. I can control it,” Nick retaliated.

“Look at us, we do it all the fucking time. It’s ok to be addicted. It’s better when you just admit it.”

Everyone was quiet. I cleared my throat, “I’m addicted.”

“Of course you fucking are!” Branden howled.

“Well you two may say that you’re addicted, but I know that I’m not.” Nick hissed.

“If you’re not addicted then don’t have any tonight.” Brendan looked at Nick with malevolence.

“Fuck off,” Nick’s eyes were wide, “I paid for my half of this for tonight, I’m not gonna waste it.”

“Whatever you say,” Brendan gave up.

I instinctively grabbed one of my teeth and wiggled it. I was sitting in the back seat of Brendan’s car, which was silent.

My tooth was still firmly in place.

The Truth: Part 16

My first two weeks at the brothel were not entirely eventful. Brendan, Matt, Nick and I became good friends. I was officially a part of their group, and together in our naivety we ‘ruled’ Knight Call. The other boys would moan whenever the four of us had shifts together because we would sit there and talk and laugh so loud that I’m sure the clients could hear us all the way from Room 3. I was smoking cigarettes full time again, something that happened gradually from hanging out with all three boys in the smoking area so often. We would sit on the wooden slats outside cross-legged, gossiping about other escorts and telling tales of bad clients, cigarettes swinging around as we flamboyantly used our hands to communicate grandeur. Our friendship took off at break-neck speed, and it was only the second week. It felt like I had been friends with those three boys for a year by that point. I never felt so connected within a group in my entire life. Finally I had a group of friends who I could relate too mentally and sexually. It was amazing.

Blaire and I had met up within those two weeks as well. She had gotten a new job in an office downtown and was still seeing Dean.

“You’re making how much money!?” Blaire asked when I told her how much I had made in the past week.

“Fifteen hundred.” I repeated.

“Holy shit Cody,” Blaire said and then laughed, “Where can you sign me up?”

I met Dean that same day I caught up with Blaire as well. Dean, Blaire and I went for a run along the cliffs near Bondi, the most famous beach in Australia. He ran behind me yelling, ‘Move twinkie move!”, which Blaire thought was funny at first but then told him to stop once it got annoying. Dean and Blaire started getting more intense with their relationship. She would visit him quite often, but she was still wary about him and his odd personality. They weren’t dating, but it was obvious that they were both developing strong feelings for each other. Blaire still hadn’t let Dean know that she knew he was an escort, so he comically kept fabricating some giant lie to her that he worked at a few night clubs doing their paperwork.

I met many boys at Knight Call. I would see Dean there every once in a while, but he only came in if he had a pre booking. He would never hangout in the Boy’s Room. Instead, Dean would seclude himself in the office. One boy (or should I say, man) really perplexed me. His name was Scott. Scott was the older guy who was there on my first day. I hadn’t officially been introduced to him until a few days after the first. I learned that he was in his late 30’s and that he used to work at Knight Call way back in the hay day. He seemed distant, but connected. Loud, yet soft. Scott and I didn’t interact that much, and it was surprising how many clients he would get with his age. I’m not saying he was ugly or anything, he was beautiful and had the most intense eyes you’ve ever seen, but normally clients wanted the young boys. The only way to make money if you weren’t young was to have big muscles, which Scott had neither. Despite this, client after client would come and ask for him. Compared to Nick and I, Scott didn’t do as well. Nick and I alone would pull in a couple clients a day, but Scott would steadily get one a day, maybe one every two days.

Besides a muscular asshole named Jake that I had a huge crush on, Nick and I pulled in the most money at Knight Call. Jake wasn’t actually an asshole, he started about a week after I did, he was just opinionated and stubborn. Once I got comfortable at Knight Call I would start telling Jake, regardless of my crush, that I thought his opinions were stupid. Normally I would never openly insult someone that quickly, but I was heavily influenced by my surroundings and the people I hung out with. I had never hung out with gay people before, or had really ever lived the gay lifestyle before. Those first few weeks (and months after) were years of oppression being released, and it released in the gayest way possible. I finally had an outlet and pedestal to be myself and was using it to my advantage.

I had been paying $180 a week for the hostel I had been living in, which was useless because I spent every night at Nick’s flat. At first I slept on his couch, but I graduated to his bed after a drunken invite. I didn’t like Nick in a sexual way, I moved to his bed because he gave me the invite and it was better than the couch.

Brendan and Nick told me numerous times that no guy would like my mohawk or plugs, so I had my plugs replaced with normal earrings, my mohawk replaced with a crew-cut that made me look like Sigourney Weaver in Alien 3.

1465365_10151769499588045_624594946_nAfter those two weeks I felt like I had to start looking for a place to call my own. I couldn’t stay in Nick’s bed forever, and I was sick of paying for a bed in a 6-person dorm. Across the city I had looked at a room, but it was a $100 taxi to get there from the inner city, and the neighbourhood scared me. Instead of risking that experience again I decided to ask around the brothel.

“I may have a room for you,” Scott said, “Why don’t you come over in two days and check it out?”

“Ok… sure.” I confirmed apprehensively. I hadn’t actually asked Scott, he must have heard I was looking through the grapevine.

Later in the smoking area Nick said, “Don’t do it. He’s weird and he’s crazy.”

I didn’t feel the same way. Scott intrigued me.

The Truth: Part 15

After the collective gasp the room fell silent. Nick looked at me with sympathetic eyes while I gazed at him scared and confused. Suddenly a boy from the back corner broke the silence and started laughing. A few other boys followed suit.

The boy who broke the silence said, “One time Arthur got me to stand behind him in front of the mirror and jiggle his belly fat.”

Another boy chimed in through the laughter, “Yeah, he got me to do that as well. He also stinks like shit!’

The first boy added, “He always wears that ugly leopard shirt!” More boys laugh.

Brendan clears his throat and announces, “I heard he always gives boys chocolate dicks!” The room erupts in roars of laughter and collective eww!‘s. Brendan notices my confusion and explains, “Chocolate dick is when you pull out and its dirty.”

One boy fake gags, another one shouts, “Covered in shit! Smells fucking disgusting!”

Robert clears his throat and speaks up, “Well don’t traumatise him!” He looks directly at me. I could tell he was trying to keep his composure. A smile curls out of the corners of his mouth.

Nick grabs my hand and pulls me down closer to him, “I’ve never had Arthur before, thank fuck! But don’t worry, it shouldn’t be too bad.”

“Does he really do all that stuff?” I asked.

Nick doesn’t say anything for a few seconds, but then says, “You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.” Nick then covers his mouth to hide his smile.

Just before I exit the Boys Room someone shouts, “Arthur is a rite of passage!”

I found myself going into the office once again, Robert not saying much as I gathered up the supplies from the cupboards. Robert had put the client in Room 3, and just before I leave up the stairs he reminds me, “Don’t forget he owes you one hundred and sixty.”

Opening the door of Room 3 let out a wave of pungent air that immediately made me want to gag. Arthur, a large white man in a leopard print shirt, sat on the edge of the bed. He eyed me up and down while wetting his lips with his tongue. His triple chin rolled in a wave at the slightest movement from his head. Arthurs jet-black hair was shined with grease, his eyes filled with lust. If I hadn’t known any better I would’ve thought he was an inbred cousin of actor Oliver Platt. I introduced myself and he reciprocated by smacking his lips and grunting his name in return. I slowly sat down next to him, his eyes never leaving my body as I carefully sit. I take a few seconds, but when I build up enough courage I lift my head and look at him with an apologetic smile. His was looking at me from the corner of his eye, either too lazy to turn his head or unable to. I almost look down out of embarrassment, but then he stands up and starts taking off his top.

Arthur was my second client, and I would categorise him in the top 5 worst clients I have ever had. Everything the boys said in the room was true and then some. I jiggled his fat in the mirror, and thats about all I will say. His skin stank of rot, his breath was death. His eyes creepy and focused. His genitalia was minuscule but his stomach was large, so large in fact that he tired to get me to lay on top of him while he was on his back and it was like laying on top of a bean bag chair. It was so awkward and uncomfortable, laying on top of his bean bag fat, that I asked to scale down and lay beside him instead.

By the end of my second night at the brothel I had two clients. One, my first client ever, was nice and made me realise the job wasn’t so bad. The other, my top 5 worst client ever, was horrible and made me realise that this job was going to be roulette: I’ll never know what I’m gonna get.

The boys howled when I told them in detail what had happened in the room. Many responded with ‘the worst is now over’ and ‘it’s only uphill from here’. Even Robert, when I first came down the stairs and led Arthur out the front door when the service was over, turned to me and said, “See, it wasn’t that bad.” I didn’t say anything, instead I gave him the stink eye.

Once work closed late that night Nick and Brendan invited me to go out with them for drinks. Nick said that Matt was out and that he’d introduce me to him.

“Just a warning though,” Nick said, “Matt can sometimes be full on,” Nick grabs me and starts shaking me, “SO DON’T BE FRIGHTENED IF HE GRABS YOU!” He lets go and Brendan starts laughing. I start laughing too and they tell me funny stories and facts about Matt as we walk to a club named Palms.

According to lore, Matt was pretty successful in his real job. Matt had a tendency to throw drinks at unsuspecting strangers and sleep with anything with a pulse when he was drunk. I also learned there might be a chance he’d try and go home with me, and like a man to a dog I should just say a firm NO!  Nick and Brendan tell me they would look out for me and protect me from him if needed.

Palms was an underground club, literally not figuratively. You had to walk down a set of stairs and through a hall into a giant dance floor with one bar. It was a very small club, full of old men, and they were playing 90s music. Three things I hated.

Nick spots Matt at the back of the club. We slide our way through the tightly packed crowd, and once we get to Matt it was obvious he was stark drunk. His eyes were unfocussed and halfway open. He had a big smile and swayed as Nick and Brendan hugged him hello. Nick introduces Matt to me, and Matt leans in and licks my face. Not a playful lick (is there such a thing?) but a full, sloppy chin-to-forehead lick.

And that was the beginning of everything. That was the first time Matt, Nick, Brendan and I all hung out. That was the start of the small incline before everything crashed around us.

The Truth: Part 14 

Standing in the hallway of the brothel, I had a decision to make. Before me were two doors: one that led into the office where a client was waiting to interview me, and one that led outside. The former door was filled with amazing uncertainty, fear, and possible regret. That door represented everything in the my life that was fucked up; all that was wrong with me, my insecurities and my selfishness. That door was the bad side of me, the side that not many people get to see.

Then there was door two. Door two was the door that led outside to freedom. It led to a place where the birds were chirping and where good life choices were made. That door represented my mothers love, the touch and purity of snow, working in restaurants, cheese factories and retail stores. That door was safe, comforting, normal, and filled with endless possibilities.

Before me were two doors. One was beauty and the other was pain.

When I was a kid I tried to cut myself multiple times. I held rusty knives to my wrists, applied a small amount of pressure and tried to jerk the knife down. I would always apply the pressure but could never bring myself to jerk the knife down.  This angered me as some of my friends tried cutting themselves to mild results, and I thought to myself, ‘Hey, my life is as shitty as theirs. If they can do it then I should do it as well.’ But no matter how much I wanted to rip the knife across my skin, I was never able to do it.

I did, however, take up poking for a while in my teen years. I would get a sewing needle from my mother’s sewing kit and start jabbing my legs with it. Soon I realised that if I dipped the needle in ink I could start giving myself prison tattoos. I spent hours creating two small tattoos on my inner legs. On one leg I tattooed a small cross, on the other was an outline of a tiny lizard. After I finished my tattoos I put down the sewing needle for good, I was happy with my results and didn’t feel the need for pain release anymore.

Two weeks after the tattoos were finished they got horribly infected. My skin around the area started turning purple and green puss started oozing out of both wounds. I spent two days watching my skin get progressively worse. My legs started getting sharp pains that would shoot up my thighs. I was afraid to tell my parents about it, knowing they would have a major freak out. So one day I took a large knife from the kitchen, went down to my room, rolled up my pant legs and sat on the floor. With the knife in one hand and my other hand stabilising my leg, I started sawing off the infected tattoo. I nearly screamed as pain overtook my entire body. Blood and green puss ran down my leg as the non-serated blade of the knife sliced through my skin. I didn’t have to use much force as the skin was already softened from the infection. I had forgotten to bring any sort of material to soak up the blood with, so I shuffled across the floor and gathered up all the blank paper I could find and put it around my wound. Then I shifted legs and continued the same routine with the other tattoo.

I had always wanted to cut myself but could never do it without necessity.

I started opening the door that led to the client.

I tried peering around the door as I was opening it, as if seeing the client before the door was fully open would help with the shock of it all.

Sitting on the couch was someone… normal. He was a white man in a suit. He wasn’t pretty but he wasn’t ugly. Older, probably in his late 40’s. He sat with a resounding peace in his posture and smiled at me as I entered the room.

“Hello,” the man said, extending his hand.

“Hi,” I replied, we shake.

“Please,” the man gestured to the space beside him on the couch, “Sit down and tell me about yourself.”

I sit down next to him and he placed his hand on my thigh. The client’s touch soothed me in a weird way and I felt my shoulders relax. He had a beautiful innocence in his eyes, almost childlike as he gazed at my face. I suddenly realised that these clients weren’t scary monsters, just human beings searching for connection. I smile back.

“Sorry, I’m new so I don’t really know what to do,” I say.

“Awe, that’s ok.” He says and squeezes my thigh.

“Thanks,” I say again and smile, “So, my name is, um, Carl. I am a top. I do, um, massage. And I think that’s it.” I realised I forgot something so I quickly add in, “Oh and I’m 20 years old and do you have any questions?”

The man lets out a small giggle, “No I don’t have any questions. You’re cute.”

I blush, “Thanks,” I stand up, “Well maybe I’ll see you later.”

“Yeah.”

****************

Back in the Boy’s Room, Nick asked how the interview went. I told him it was fine, and let him know what I said.

“That’s perfect. It’s good you remembered to say that you’re new, they love the newbies.” Nick applauds, “Did I tell you that I made six thousand dollars in my first two weeks?”

Robert comes into the room, “CARL!” He yells while scanning faces. His eyes lock into mine and he smiles, “He wants you.”

In the office Robert helps me collect all the materials I would need: one bed sheet, two towels and a glass of water.

“Relax,” he reminds me before I start making my way up the stairs. Robert had put the client in Room 2, “And remember you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. And get the money first. He owes you one hundred and sixty.”

“Right.” I replied. With my hands full of towels and a glass of water, I made my way up the flight of stairs. I was eerily calm, my brain wouldn’t let itself go into a panic. I knew that if I started freaking out it would quickly escalate into a full-blown panic attack in the middle of the stairwell. I didn’t even pause when I got to the door of Room 2, I just burst my way through it, giving the client a fright.

“Sorry about that.” I said calmly.

“It’s ok,” replied the client, who was in the middle of taking off his pants, “I haven’t done this much… hiring escorts, I mean.”

“That’s ok, if you want me to be completely honest, you’re my first client ever.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, so I’m probably more nervous than you are.” I lied, I was completely calm.

“Well don’t worry about it,” The client ensured, “We can start off easy with just a massage.”

“Ok, cool.”

In the end my time with my first client was, for lack of a better word, pleasurable. We had a good laugh and a nice chat. I told him about my old life on the ranch and he told me about how he wishes to come out as a gay man to everyone in his life. It was decent and it was honest. I went back into the Boy’s Room feeling confident, like this job wasn’t going to be as bad as I thought it would. Before I even get a chance to sit down, Nick eagerly awaiting to ask me how it was, Robert burst into the room and says, “Carl, another one for you right now.”

“But I didn’t do the interview.” I question.

“He doesn’t need you to, he only likes to see new boys.”

Nick’s smile turns into a frown, “No,” he says, “It isn’t leopard-print guy, is it?”

Robert replies, “You mean Arthur? Yes it is.”

Everyone in the room gasps.

The Truth: Part 13

When I wake from my drunken sleep I wipe some drool from the corner of my mouth and sit up. I almost scream when I realise none of my surroundings look familiar. I was in the living room of a small apartment. Who’s messy house is this? I think. A wave of relief hits me as I remember that I drunkenly got here with Nick… it was his apartment. I didn’t know where anything was so I sat and scrolled through Facebook while I waited for Nick to wake up, craving water to deter my oncoming hangover but being too polite to start rummaging through his kitchen like a raccoon. When Nick finally emerges from the shadows we hug hello and then he grabs us both large glasses of water. We laugh about the night while secretly hating ourselves for our hangovers, and we spent the early afternoon watching Will and Grace, a television show I had only briefly seen before.

Growing up in a Christian family meant that my parents were against homosexuality. Even though we owned two baby calves named Will and Grace (I’m really uncertain if my parents named them coincidentally or on purpose) the tv show was strictly banned. I remember sneaking in an episode or two when I was little, laughing at the rare joke that I understood (The gay world was scary and foreign to me). I vaguely remember my father once being disgusted at the tv show called Modern Family, and he banned us from watching it, saying something about how it ruined the sanctity of family values or something like that. Looking back I also remember my brother once shielding his eyes and shrieking when Chuck kissed Larry on I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. It’s funny how incidences like that were forgotten once I came out. My family conveniently forgot all the times they were disgusted by gay culture. It hurts when people don’t realise the damage they caused. It’s not like I want an apology, but sometimes I think back and those remarks still hurt. They had no idea about the secret I was harbouring, so its just another reminder on why human beings need to be more sensitive with their words and actions.

After watching Will and Grace I went back to my hostel and started getting ready for night two at the brothel. Meandering about the hostel I felt like I was a secret agent. It felt like I was a part of something the people in the hostel would never understand; even if I didn’t understand it myself. It felt like I was a part of something greater than their sums. They were there on vacation and I was there risking my neck in Sydney’s underground. It felt edgy. It felt important. It felt like my life was finally something more than the mundane and it was only the second day.

I changed from my khakis to my baggy green pants and I kept wearing the blue Australia sweater. I took a look in the mirror and wondered how any clients would want me.

*************************

It takes a couple minutes to walk to the brothel from my hostel. I ring the secret ‘boys bell’ and wait for someone to open the door. I’m a little shocked when it was not Pete who opened the door but a very tall older gentleman with dark hair, a long face, and very soft eyes.

“Hello, you must be the new boy,” The man said, he squints his eyes and tilts his head as he says, “Carl, isn’t it?”

“Yes, my name is Carl.” I reply, almost robotically. The man was enormously tall, yet was so soft in his demeanour that I wasn’t intimidated by him.

We started walking towards the office while he said, “Hi, I’m Robert. Have you met Dave yet?”

Before I respond we are in the office and there is a smaller gentleman sitting in one of the office chairs. This man, Dave, was the very opposite of Robert: he was very short, had a rounder face, and looked slightly more intimidating. I am put as ease though when he starts speaking,

“Oh, you must be the new boy, Carl.” Dave said, dragging out my pseudo-name in a way I could only explain as gay.

“Yes I am,” I reply.

Dave asks, “You started last night, didn’t you?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh good, so we don’t have to give you the grande tour!” Dave threw his hand up in the air in relief, and then he lets out a cackle, “I usually work the day shift so you’ll see lots of me if you work during those times.”

“How long have you worked here?” I ask.

“20 years,” He replied with a hint of shame.

After a quick chat with Robert and Dave, Dave decided that before he left he would bring me to the boys room and introduce me because lots of the boys on that night hadn’t met me yet.

The room had about ten boys in it. A surge of anxiety shoots up my body.

“Hey everybody!” Dave blurts out. All ten boys turn around to stare at me, “This is Carl! He just started last night, so try and help him out if you can!” And then Dave turns to me and whispers, “Good luck,” before leaving me standing there like an idiot. I gulp as I scan the room of boys, most of them had turned back around to chat amongst themselves or watch the tv, but a couple stared for longer before continuing what they were doing. I couldn’t find room to sit on the couches so I sat on an old office chair close to another boy who looked like he would be my ‘competition’, probably Brendan or Matt but I was too nervous to ask.

Nick hadn’t arrived yet so I sat for about an hour awkwardly scanning the room. A couple boys came up to me to introduce themselves, and some seemed to be extra loud and boisterous to try and intimidate or impress me, I couldn’t decipher which.

For a bunch of gay boys the room seemed filled with testosterone and it was clear that there was an unspoken struggle to be Queen of the brothel. Some boys kept to themselves, but the ones who didn’t made sure they were the loudest. Boys were yelling and screaming, making dirty jokes and picking on each other. A closer look revealed that they were still in their social structures, the three social structures that Nick had mentioned before; no one seemed brave enough to break through the three main social groups. All the boys remained in the safety of their social group so, as a consequence, their attempts to command the room was weak at best. The boys continued to yell at the wind and laugh loudly and I enjoyed watching their empty dance to become Queen.

Nick finally arrives and hugs the boy next to me, and then hugs me.

“Sorry I’m late,” Nick apologises, “It took me a long time to get ready.”

“It always takes you forever to get ready,” the boy next to me snarked.

“Shut up! You take just as long,” Nick retaliates, and then turns to me, “Have you met Brendan yet?”

I replied, “No I haven’t,” and Nick formally introduces us.

I was about to attempt small talk with Brendan but I am cut from talking when the client bell goes off.

One boy yelled, “FINALLY!”

Another shrieked, “CLIENT!”

 Robert comes into the boys room surprisingly fast and says, “He wants to see everyone.” My stomach turns from anxiety.

Nick quickly turns to me, “You haven’t done an interview yet, have you?”

“No,” I reply, trying to hide the sudden panic that was rushing through my body.

One by one the boys go out of the room and into the office as Nick explains what I should say, “Everyone does interviews differently, but basically how I do it is I go in and say, hi, my name is Nick. I am 22 years old, I am versatile, and I do massage. Do you have any questions? And then answer any questions they may have and then come back here into the boys room. Its really simple.”

“That doesn’t sound too hard,” I say, feeling a bit less anxious.

“Its so easy,” Brendan pitches in.

Nick goes into the office and I am stuck in awkward silence with Brendan. When he returns he sits next to me as Brendan goes in.

“This guy is easy. He wants a top and a massage. He’s white, not bad looking- for a client.” Nick informs me, “And tell him you’re new… they love the newbies.”

Too soon is Brendan back from the office. Robert looks at me when I realise I am the last boy to be interviewed. I take a giant breath of air, stand on my wobbly feet, and walk to the door of the boys room, which Robert is politely holding open for me.

Robert stares me in the eyes and says, “Don’t be nervous.”

I was unable to find the words to say back to him. I turn and realise all the boys were watching me. I take one last giant breath of air before taking my first steps through the hallway towards the interview room.

 

 

 

 

 

The Truth: Part 12

Nick talks fast and his excitement builds as he begins explaining to me the ins and outs of the brothel, “There are three main groups here at KC- KC is what we call the brothel,” He starts listing them off on his fingers, being frantically and stereotypical gay in his enthusiasm, “First there is the group of people who keep to themselves: they don’t want to make friends here, and its best just to leave them alone. Then there is the group of foreigners: they mostly stick together and probably won’t talk to you unless you speak Spanish or something. And last there is the cool group, which is the group I’m in, and we own this place,” Nick is clearly over-excited about announcing the cool group; if there even can be such a thing in such a place.

Nick continues, “There are three people in the cool group: First there is me, who started working here before the other two. There is Brendan, who arrived here second and not long after I started. Brendan is really cool, and we get along really well. Then there is Matt, who has a full time job and only works here a couple of nights a week, and he arrived here third. We are the ones you want to stick with. You’ll meet them soon… are you going to be here tomorrow?”

“Yeah, I put myself on the schedule here almost every day.” I respond, taking another drag of my cigarette.

“Cool, well then you’ll probably see them tomorrow,” Nick also takes another drag then continues, “A lot of people come and go in this place, so groups and dynamics change all the time. Right now its a good dynamic. Brendan, Matt, and I are all your direct competition,” Nick stops speaking and looks at me as if he’s eliciting a response; I take the bait.

“What do you mean by direct competition?” I ask.

He’s obviously excited that I asked, “We are in the young and twink category, so we mostly get all the pedophiles. We wouldn’t really be competing with the muscly guys, or the older ones.”

“Yay, pedophiles!” I say sarcastically.

Nick laughs, “Yeah I’ll admit they aren’t too bad but at the same time they are disgusting.”

******************************************

The rest of the night flies by. Pete comes in at 1am and tells us all that he is closing down for the night. I spent my whole shift nervous to experience my first client, but nobody showed.

When I asked Nick if it was normal to have no clients he replied, “Yeah, sometimes. But I got two clients on MY first night.”

Nick invited me for drinks at Stonewall and, with nothing else to do, I obliged.

********************************************

“Cheers!” Nick screams over the loud music. I lift my glass and he does the same. We clink our glasses and take a sip. We spot an empty table across the room and race to sit there before anyone else does.

“So are you nervous about having sex with the clients?” Nick asks, sitting cross legged and leaning in close.

I was taken aback that Nick would speak so publicly about our work environment, but then realised the music was too loud and everyone else was too drunk to care.

I reply, “Yeah I am very nervous! I’ve only had sex twice in my entire life.”

Nick almost spits out his drink, “OH MY GOD! You’re kidding, right?”

“No, I wish I wasn’t.”

“HOLY-SHIT!” Nick laughs, “How the fuck are you going to do this job?”

I respond, “I have no idea.”

Nick and I spend the night getting drunk and laughing about our current life predicament. I was happy I didn’t get a client that night at Knight Call, as it was nice to get comfortable in those new surroundings before I jumped in head first. Nick was great at putting my mind at ease and making me laugh. He made me feel comfortable.

Back in Canada I didn’t have any gay friends. Yes, I worked with some gay people, and had some gay lovers, but none of them were anywhere close to being good friends. The fact was that I never had a gay friend to just hang out with. My whole Canadian life was built around a structure that was inherently straight, and I was ready to break down that structure. Even though I had my guard up that first night with Nick, I still felt comfortable around him like I’ve never felt before. My entourage of girlfriends back in Canada never seemed to fill me with the comfort that one man here in Sydney seemed to do. It was different, it was freeing, and that night I knew Nick and I would become great friends.

The night grows long, and it’s almost 4am before we decide to call it in. The hostel I was staying in had a 1am curfew, so Nick insisted I stay on his couch. He lived close to Stonewall.

I drunkenly crash on his couch and pass out.

***********************************

After Scott’s memorial I meet up with Matt (the aforementioned member of the cool group). We are sitting at a pizza restaurant in Darlinghurst and it’s the first time I’ve seen him in a while.

Matt says, “I still can’t believe Scott died.”

“Yeah, me neither. I knew it was coming, but it’s still a shock. In a weird and fucked up way I’m kind of glad it happened.” I instantly regret saying. I knew Matt wouldn’t understand my reasons behind saying it. No one really would. I was upset he was dead, but also glad. Scott had suffered for so long, and now he was at peace. It was macabre; it was beautiful.

Matt and I sit in silence for a few seconds, letting what I said sink in.

Matt speaks up, “I saw Nick the other day.”

“Fuck, really?” I say, happy at the change of conversation.

“Yeah, he looked really bad.”

“Is he still… Into it?” I ask.

“Oh yeah, big time. He looks like a skeleton.”

“Shit, that sucks. But to be honest I have no sympathy for him. He has the choice to get out, and he chooses to stay in.” I chose my words carefully, knowing full-well the people around us could overhear.

“I talked to him as well.”

“What did he say?” I ask, suddenly intrigued.

“He said that if he ever sees you again he’s going to punch you in the face.”